The reality of dreaming

The Reality of Dreaming

My son wants to drive so badly he can taste exhaust fumes.

This past summer, he asked me nearly every time we got into the van when it would be his turn to drive.  Most parents probably dread the day their children start driving and their insurance premiums go through the roof,  but I am so excited for the day when I can hand him the keys and see that look of joy in his eyes.  In my heart, I look forward to him driving probably more than he does.  So why haven’t I let him get his permit and take the family mini-van for a spin?

Because he’s 3 years old.

I will safe guard the dream of his driving until he is ready, not to mention old enough to see over the steering wheel, but if I gave him his “dream” today it would cause him and who knows who else harm. He’s not ready yet.

I’ve explained to him a million and one different ways, why he can’t drive right now and he responds with a quivering lower lip, “okay, someday”.  He has resigned himself to comply despite not fully understanding my reasons.

It’s the same with us.  We don’t always understand when God says, “not now” and our 3 year old hearts distort his words into “no” as we perceive our dreams crumbling into dust.

Dreams are precious things, fragile in the making.  Our dreams are things meant to be placed into the hands of God. He knows this and he’s not willing that we would gain the thing we want most at the risk of losing ourselves.  And so, he has a way of causing us to lay down the thing we want, the way Abraham laid down Issac, so that he can give it back to us at the moment of our maturity.

We all have that something lingering just out of reach.

Maybe you’ve been praying for Mr. Right (or dear God, please fix my Mr. Right).

Maybe your dream is that elusive career opportunity.

Maybe you’ve been patiently waiting for that restored relationship with your parents.

Maybe you’ve been quietly hoping for a child.

Or maybe your dream is simply driving the family mini-van.

The temptation is one of two things: 1. to either try to do everything to make it happen or 2. to do nothing.  If you’re a bold person, you more than likely gravitate towards the first, if you’re fearful you’ll tend to gravitate towards the second and if you’re like me, a cyclone of both – it might just depend on the day.

How do we trust God and act in faith when it comes to something like a dream?

When God told Abraham to go to the promise land, Abraham went. . . and kept going until God told him to stop.  When Joseph dreamed of greatness, he served faithfully . . . and God made him the second most powerful man in Egypt.  When Ruth secretly hoped for her Mr. Right, she continued to care for her mother-in-law . . . and Boaz came along.

Be faithful.

Ask God what your first step is and be faithful to do that thing until he either tells you something new or until that day when your dream becomes reality.  Too simple?  Perhaps, but I think I remember that he likes to use the simple things to confound the wise.

 

 

*I originally posted this when my oldest really was only 3 years old.  He still wants to drive just as bad now that he’s 7.

Pray for us.

–  -No seriously.

One day we’ll have to let our kids drive.*

 

 

Photo Credit: “Key” by Unsplash permissions through C.C. by 2.0

 

The Eye of God

The Eye of God

I write for my sanity.

You thought I wrote just because I loved you.

I do.

I really do.

But writing also helps keep me sane.

You see, by writing I have a built in excuse to go to a coffee shop every week and write.

My husband is a business guy, I call him the Human Calculator, because, we’ll he is.  It is freaky how well he can calculate numbers and percentages in his head when it comes to money. And because he’s a bottom line kinda of guy, in his mind – paying for coffee every week is a business expense -which means I can get away with it.  (Take notes ladies, this is how it’s done.)

So that’s part one of my self induced therapy plan – self-medicate, ie, drink coffee.

But the other part is to write about how I feel and how I’m processing the world, because . . . lean in. . .  I’m a stuffer.

 

Yeah, you heard me.  I stuff my emotions.

Which is why blogging is a such a great outlet.

At the heart of blogging is connection.

It’s all about letting another person into your world, the way you think and what you feel.

Because of this, bloggers are awesome people.

 

But right now I hate blogging.

And I kind of hate being a blogger.

And I definitely don’t feel awesome.

 

Because it means that I’m one of those people who processes her world by writing about it.

 

 

I’m a stuffer who writes about the stuff I don’t really want to write about because I figure if I put my stuff out there, I won’t be as much of a stuffer anymore. – Say that 10 times fast.

Here’s what my stuffy side doesn’t want to say tonight.

 

God’s not done healing me.

 

I actually thought he was.

I thought I had finally moved past all of my childhood issues and was on the cusp of something big. . . like the promised land of adulthood.

But I don’t think he got my memo.

 

Actually it’s the opposite.

It’s like he saved one of the biggest bombshells for last.

 

And here it is: Because of growing up in a home with a schizophrenic mother and living in a constant state of childhood trauma – I have  ummm — cough — tendencies.

 

What?

 

I said, I have — cough — tendencies.

 

Alright, fine.

 

I HAVE CODEPENDENT TENDENCIES.

There, I said it.

 

Maybe not a shocker for you, but it is for me.

 

And now I’m going from a season where I thought I was finished with all of this inner healing stuff to my-dreams-are-feeling-a-bit-like-sand-slipping-through-my-fingers-all-because-I don’t-know-how-to-not-be-overly-responsible-and-just-trust-God-when-it-comes-to-other-people’s-emotions.

Grrrrr me.

 

Here’s the crazy part, I knew he was up to something.

I was playing the piano one afternoon and just spending time with him, when God shows me this picture of a giant eye.  It reminded me of the nebula in the photo above.  Not intimidating or scary, but I was very aware that my heart was being searched.

And since then, I haven’t heard God say anything about it.

But I’m pretty sure that this discovery of codependent tendencies is tied to that day.

 

God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what.

Hebrews 4:12-13 (The Message)

 

Okay seriously, I didn’t even know I had codependency issues until like 2 months ago.  And it’s not like I want to keep them or anything but man, I wish that God would snap his fingers and make it just go away.

Open a can of miracle, right here, right now.

Because I am one bewildered girl right now.  Lez just be honest.  I did not realize I was as messed up as he is showing me I am.

 

My friends and family, however, are not as shocked.

 

To make matters worse, this has not been a fast moving kind of revelation.  This is more like a slow as molasses revelation.  As in, every day I’m going to show you what is going on and how it is affecting you and the people you love.

 

Ouch.

This really sucks.

 

But I don’t want to stay this way.

I really do want to change.

 

Repentance at its core is being willing to go through the process of being changed.

 

Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.

Hebrews 4:14-16 (The Message)

 

Okay, Jesus, so healing is what you’re offering me in this season.

I’ll take that mercy.

I’ll accept that help.

 

Photo Credit: “Helix Nebula” by WikiImages, permissions through C.C. by 2.0

The lines between us

I got burned this past year.

Badly.

A blaze of betrayal and rejection that left me a charred mess.

Sadly, this is true to all of our lives.  We’ve all been burned.  But once the fires die down and we are left facing ourselves and those who have hurt us, what are we supposed to do?  The judge and jury have ruled and the verdict is guilty.  So why does it feel like we are left living out the sentence instead of the person who hurt us?

Forgive them.

Okay, I can do that.  I can let go of the past and move on.

Wait.

Is this really how I view forgiveness?  “Let go of the past and move on” – sounds like a bumper sticker.  What I meant to say was:

Forgiveness – (verb),  to never mention past wrongs and to play nice with the people who screwed you over.

Isn’t that really what we think of forgiveness.  Play nice.  Have I really reduced forgiveness to niceness?  God must have had more in mind.

Matthew 5:38-42 (The Message)

“Here’s another old saying that deserves a second look: ‘Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’ Is that going to get us anywhere? Here’s what I propose: ‘Don’t hit back at all.’ If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into a court and sues for the shirt off your back, gift wrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.

Say what?

Forgive them.  Give them the best of you.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around this.  It’s not enough to be merely polite to the person who betrayed your trust .  It’s more than being “nice” to the parent, the spouse, or friend who wounded you.  These are the cheap knock-offs of what forgiveness was supposed to be.

We unknowingly harbor unforgiveness by withholding ourselves from others.  These are the lines we draw in the sand.  The resentments of our heart whisper words of “I’ll forgive you when you prove that you’ve changed” or “I forgive you but I don’t trust you”.  We withhold our forgiveness and the best of ourselves under the guise of mistrust.

Romans 5:6-8 (The Message)
Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.

Despite all of our wrongs, he gave his best to you and me.  He forgives and then doesn’t stop there but gives us the best of everything he is in Jesus.  How can we give anything less to each other?

Strong and courageous

Be strong and courageous.

Seriously?

Of all the things God would want to say to me in this moment, I was not expecting “be strong and courageous”.  The truth is, I don’t want to “be strong and courageous” and I can feel each syllable swinging from the hangy-down thing* in the back of my throat.  I don’t feel very strong and courageous – tired and clinging to the life-raft of grace is probably more fitting these days.

But here I am mesmerized by the white abyss of this blog wondering why the font staring back exhilarates and terrifies me oh so much.  I think I’ve become too comfortable in the silence and moroseness of being a closet author.  Here it is: I’m afraid of failure, afraid of success, afraid of the unknown, and ultimately afraid of trusting God with any and all of it.  Trusting God may be the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done.  To be so vulnerable, so infantile in my needs and desires.  To give up my right to call the shots and to step into the unknown with Him.

Be strong and courageous.

Joshua 1:8-9

“This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth, you are to recite it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it.  For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do.  Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous?  Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Okay, so essentially, God is saying any life worth living takes guts.  Any opportunity worth taking involves a risk.  He goes on by throwing in a, “no worries, I’ll go with you – you’ve got this.”  It blows my mind that the same God who desires and requires my faith is willing to reciprocate in just the same way towards me.  God believes in me.  He is the hockey mom on the bleachers wearing the ridiculously overpriced jersey with my name on it.  Yeah, you know the one – the one who cheers the loudest at the games and who better not hear you talking smack about her kid.  Mama cougars are less threatening than she is when it comes to her child’s well-being.

So this blog is me being strong and courageous the best way I know how.  This is me throwing control out of the window and saying “God, I trust you – with my fears, my tears, and even my dreams of becoming a legitimate author.”

I’m pretty sure God is waving a foam finger and cheering me on.

*to my anatomy professors in college – you have not failed the education system.  I do remember that the “hangy-down thing” was called a uvula, but “hangy-down thing” is so much more descriptive and well, lets face it – it’s a lot more fun to say.*